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Character Generation

2nd Edition PHB only for classes, races, and starting spells.

Characters start with 10s in every attribute and get 30 discretionary points to increase those before racial modification. (If a fighter 9 points gets an 18/50, 10 points gets an 18/75, 11 points gets an 18/90, 12 points gets an 18/99, and 13 points gets an 18/100).

Dwarves cannot take less than 11 before adjustement in Constitution or more than 17 in Dexterity or Charisma (before adjustment), Halflings cannot take more than 17 in Wisdom. All others can be left at 10 or taken as high as 18. (only warriors – fighter, ranger, or paladin can have exceptional strength and halfling fighters do not get exceptional strength).

Characters begin, and continue with maximum hit points for class and level.

No proficiencies; Fighters choose specialization in 1 category (Blades, Cleaving/Crushing, Poles, or Missiles) and all classes are assumed proficient in any allowed weapons. Characters can use all non-weapon proficiencies at their attribute level (same will hold true for saves). A rough guide to saves Poison, Paralyzation, and Death Magic is usually Con as is Petrification and Polymorph. Rod, Staff, Wand and Breath Weapon is often Dex based. Spell is normally Wis based. (There are exceptions; breath weapon sleep clouds would be Con while all illusions would be Int based and a fireball would be Dex based). Thac0 for all characters is 21 minus current level (same as fighter Thac0).

All characters begin with 300 GP for equipment and other purchases (in 2nd edition 10 cp = 1 sp, 5 sp = 1 ep, 10 sp = 1gp, 2 ep = 1 gp, 5 gp = 1 pp).

Languages can be chosen based on INT, Forgotten realms languages can be used but Common and racial tongues are acceptable.

Wizards begin with a spell book containing the spells they select for 1st level (up to 1/2 their Intelligence, but all “free” spells must be from the player’s handbook). For more on the magic system visit the Modified Spell System page.


I’ve looked at lots of systems of bonus XP and XP penalties and other things, but overall I don’t like most. I will use a declining slide advancement (super fast at first, super slow later).

Sessions Active Single Class Level Two Class Level Three Class Level
0 1 1/1 1/1/1
1-2 2 1/1 1/1/1
3-5 3 2/2 1/1/1
6-9 4 3/3 2/2/2
10-14 5 4/4 3/3/3
15-20 6 5/5 4/4/4
21-27 7 6/6 5/5/5
28-35 8 7/7 6/6/6
36-44 9 8/8 7/7/7
45-54 10 9/9 8/8/8
55-65 11 10/10 9/9/9
66-77 12 11/11 10/10/10
78-90 13 12/12 11/11/11
91-104 14 13/13 12/12/12
105-119 15 14/14 13/13/13
120-135 16 15/15 14/14/14
136-152 17 16/16 15/15/15
153-170 18 17/17 16/16/16
171-189 19 18/18 17/17/17
190-209 20 19/19 18/18/18

At this rate it takes about a year to reach 10th level, another year to get to 14th, a third year to reach 17th, and a fourth year to reach 20th. If playing a demi-human the level limits will eventually come into play.

Split class characters are treated as 1 level higher (a Fighter 1/Mage 1 is treated as 2nd level so they won’t advance to Fighter 2/Mage 2 until a single class character would be 3rd level). A triple classed character is treated as 2 levels higher (a Fighter 1/Mage 1/Thief 1 is treated as 3rd level and won’t advance to F2/M2/T2 until a single class character would be 4th level).

New characters can be taken if an old character is retired, to make the transition easier the character will begin the same level as the lowest level member of the party (the retiring character takes all their shares with them and the new character gets no share of anything before they joined). The new character will have 300 GP in equipment and no magic items, but gets all the advantages that go with their class level. Some players may feel it would be handy to level up a second character; this can be done by leaving the other character idle rather than retired and is covered in the Multiple Characters section.

If more than 1 person is DMing the question comes up for advancement and treasure, assuming the DM character is not tagging along as an NPC (if so ignore this post and their treasure and experience is divided as any other party member). Co-DM rewards.

Level Limits:
Human – Unlimited in all
Dwarf – Cleric 10, Fighter 15, Thief 12
Elf – Cleric 12, Fighter 12, Mage 15, Ranger 15, Thief 12
Gnome – Cleric 9, Fighter 11, Illusionist 15, Thief 13
Halfling – Cleric 8, Fighter 9, Thief 15
Half-Elf – Bard unlimited, Cleric 14, Druid 9, Fighter 14, Mage 12, Ranger 16, Thief 12

Exceeding level limits:
Prime Attribute: 14-15 adds 1
Prime Attribute: 16-17 adds 2
Prime Attribute: 18 adds 3
Prime Attribute: 19 or more adds 4

Things collected aren’t considered official loot until the characters reach a town or inn to divide loot. This is discussed under the Treasure Division section.


Services from NPCs will be limited to those paid for in town. Those interested in hiring mercenary armies and other such activities need to retire from adventuring first. PC groups will consist of PCs and those NPC associates the DM sends along.

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